Tag: ADD

My Mind Wanders…and wanders, still

My Mind Wanders…and wanders, still

Once again I’m plagued with my mind wandering, flitting from place to place with thoughts that jump like a small bird hopping from branch to branch. And yes, my mind wonders too however for whatever reason todays stroll though nothingness is prevalent.

It was the normal beginning to the day, slowly waking and not wanting to rise. At least I don’t wake angry as so often used to be the case BM (before meds). I do thank the antidepressant medication for that.

I wake but don’t want to be awake, I want to drift back into nothingness, to dreamland where life is simple with no expectations of me nor responsibilities to carry. At times it feels like the ‘awakeness’ is a cross I’d prefer not to bear. Life is so much simpler and enjoyable when I’m asleep.

Regardless of my desires I realize the need to get up so I slowly crawl out of bed, being careful not to disturb my wife who has likely just gotten under the covers a short time before. She has her own sleep issues, dissimilar to mine, perhaps more serious. I pull on some clothes and quietly leave the room, off to take care of whatever morning business requires taking care of.

A glass of water, my vitamins and pills, perhaps a banana, are next. I’ll sit and mindlessly attempt to watch the morning news, likely cruising around the ‘net on my iPad or phone at the same time. After a short while I’ll get off the couch and brew some coffee and prepare more food. This time a muffin, cereal, or toast. I’m too lazy and unmotivated to make a real, healthy breakfast. This is my life, at least the morning portion of it.

The last few days however I’ve shut off the tv earlier and moved outside. My front porch is the preferred location these days with the back porch being equally as nice but in closer proximity to the passing road. We are separated from the street by green and and a nice enough concrete fence but the noise from passing vehicles knows no boundaries and it pushes me away to a quieter locale. The front is cooler as well this time of morning, in fact today I wanted my hoodie.

I grabbed my 2nd cup of coffee and my colouring book and felts and proceeded outdoors. My wife got me an adult colouring book filled with mandelas and today that was my art project of choice. I have others but the last few days it’s been this. Any of the art related projects, photography included, were all supported by Elly. As a counselor Art Therapy was a big part of her toolkit and she introduced me to it. The colouring is therapeutic and also somewhat mindless however my thoughts continued to run rampant in my head. Perhaps writing will help, hence my visit here.

While the wondering continued I did wander about ADD or some other, similar, mental illness. Let’s throw that into the mix too while we’re at it. Perhaps it’s not (only) depression that is my illness, it may well be there are other factors at play. I’ve never been diagnosed with such, other than my own armchair diagnosis, but it does make me think (more).

We had a young friend come for a visit last night, the daughter of friends, and she has suffered with ADD or ADHD much of her life. She explained some of her symptoms and those of her friends who also suffer. Symptoms such as unfocussed thoughts, inability to selectively work on tasks, procrastination, etc.. These are of course not necessarily definitive symptoms, certainly not saying they have some mental illness, but they are most certainly some traits I feel I have. I’ve often wondering if ADD (or similar) is part of my repertoire.

Regardless I work with what I got, I ‘dance with the guy that brung me’. I have good days and days not as good. I try to find things that help my mind settle, to slow a mind that wanders, and wanders still.

The Big “C” Caffeine

The Big “C” Caffeine

I’m getting anxious again, it’s not overwhelming but uncomfortable nonetheless.  It’s manageable.  At worst it’s quite a disconcerting feeling, and for those that have real anxiety attacks I can imagine it must be a horrible experience. Mine is more a result, or contributed by, the big “C”.  That would be Coffee with too much Caffeine.

I’ve had these pangs of stress before, see “Coffee, With a Capital C” for some historical perspective, but needless to say my problem is largely self inflicted (I think).  It surprised me today though because I limited myself to just one cup with breakfast.  Now mind you that one cup was made with my stove-top expresso maker so the resulting brew is pretty high test, premium as opposed to regular octane.  And I haven’t used decaf for a while either which would have helped.  It was a delicious cup though, aromatic and full bodied, stimulating on multiple levels.

I think this occasional hyperness is also just part of my nature, and whether it’s just an emotional intensity that’s exacerbated by the big C, or my perceived ADD, or just that I’m just a bit f***ed up, I can’t say for sure.  I do know it’s annoying at best and sometimes a little debilatating.  The situation is complicated because I have soooo many things I want to do, and many of them I try to do at the same time.  Well not really at the SAME time, but during the same time period, such that I seldom ever get any of them completed to my satisfaction.

That should be another clue too, that these tasks are not done to my satisfaction.  I am a bit of a perfectionist and if I’m not happy with something I may abandon it before I get it completed to my standards.  Pisses my wife off for sure.  I thought retirement would help me this, and I still do actually, it’s just a matter of getting my sea legs.  Or so I keep telling myself.

At this point in time some of my ongoing projects are (in no particular order): getting gardens/yard put to bed, welding projects for myself and friends, prepping my project truck (getting it and parts truck into or beside the garage), photography in general, blogging, exercise, webpage improvements, relaxation, etc. etc..  Doesn’t sound too bad does it?

So here I’m going to kill two birds with one stone.  I’m posting a photo, which I’d like to do more frequently, and getting one post out  at the same time.  I’ve not edited the shot as that would only complicate my life further at this time.  I’m trying to get a handle on my interests and time spent on them after-all.  Editing and photo enhancement etc. is certainly on my list, just not today.

I took this shot on the way to Nelson one recent morning when I was taking my wife’s car into the shop.  One of the roads to Nelson passes along the Kootenay Canal, which is where I got the pic.  I thought it looked pretty cool in the morning light, with the mist off the water and some early fall colours.

Kootenay Canal with morning fog

In addition to taking many more shots now (about 1500 since Aug) I have also endeavored to catalogue not only the new pictures but those I’ve taken over the years.  To that end I acquired LightRoom 4.2 and a bunch  of my time (read that as days) has been eaten up with the learning curve for that software.  Throw in the creation of a web gallery and trying to bring up my own website and you may get a sense of what’s leading to my stress.

When I look at it in the big picture though I realize how fortunate I am to even be able to have these ‘problems’ and while I do whine about things now and then I really am a happy person.  It’s just that I have your ear, and you have to listen, don’t you?

As always, any comments or insights are truly appreciated.  Big ‘C’ over and out.

Fall Back, The Colours are Upon Us

Fall Back, The Colours are Upon Us

I hate to admit it but I think our summer is over. The fall colours are showing and autumn is on the cusp.  The days are noticeably shorter and while it’s still amazingly gorgeous here in the Kootenay’s I can’t help but feel just a little sad.  I’m having so much fun, or most of the time anyway.

Unfortunately my job list doesn’t appear appreciably shorter, in fact every time I look at it the “completed” column is significantly shorter than the “to do” side.  It could be because I keep adding to it I guess.  Who am I kidding, there is no list save for the one in my head.

Travel, family, travel to family, and a host of other interests continue to pull me in multiple directions, and sometimes at the same time.  Just another facet of my personality I’m learning to live with, and only beginning to understand in some ways.  I often jokingly refer to it as my ADD side, certainly not to minimize it for those that are impacted by it significantly.

autumn, colour, tree, fall
fall colour in Van’s yard

I was at my friends house the other day picking something up.  More stuff for future, as yet unnamed, projects.  I noticed a tree in his front yard, beautiful in it’s fall garb, all oranges and reds.  I don’t know what kind of tree it is but I had to go back today to take a picture of it.  This kind of beauty is awe inspiring.

The beauty of Autumn

Another thing that inspires me is that my moods have been pretty good lately too.  I don’t know the how or why of it, could be that it’s just the way things are.  Could be my meds, could be I’m better.  Could be I’m just at a high point.  In light of some other posts I’ve read, particularly “Understanding Emotional Intensity”, it could be just that I’m normally an up and down kinda guy and just have to accept it.  I believe the term was Emotional Intensity.

Essentially, if I am such, it’s not abnormal for me to have some stronger swings of mood.  The kicker is the moods can be higher and lower than what others may normally experience.  Now I’m only paraphrasing here, this certainly isn’t a diagnosis.  Let’s just say  I’ve interpreted these mood swings to be a sign of my depression.  It would be swell if they were not.

Anyway as life rolls on and my retirement progresses I am learning to adapt to a number of things.  So far I’d say I’m pretty successful, I hope others would feel the same.  I enjoy my private time but do find occasions where I feel the need to be around people.  Maybe not socializing as such but being around others.  We are after all social beings.

I got out of the house today to take some photos and run errands, and in fact I’m sitting here writing this from the pub.  Sorta like killing two birds with one stone.  Free wi-fi and my blogging clock was ticking.  I had the pictures in hand so let’s use them.

Once I post it’ll be back home to take on one (read that part of one) project.  Whether it’s a welding project for a friend or cataloging my photos I can’t say.  Maybe just reading a book, who knows.  I do feel a bit recharged though, taking photos can do that.  And the fall colours don’t hurt.

Deck the Hall, oops I Mean Haul the Deck

Deck the Hall, oops I Mean Haul the Deck

Another home project will be underway soon, that being our sundeck recover. The existing vinyl coating has been in place about 18 years now and it’s tired, old and tired like me. It’s not so bad though, I don’t have as many cuts as it does nor do I have so many people walking all over me.

The facelift will begin tomorrow morning, bright and early if the contractor is good to his word. It’s not like I’m looking forward to beginning my day at the crack ass of dawn but in order to beat the heat that’s the best time. I don’t expect to do much of the work other than hauling away the debris and then reinstalling the handrails and siding once he’s done.

20120814-221545.jpgI had to remove the rails and siding as part of the contract and while they were relatively easy to take off I’m not sure how easy they’ll be to get back on. I’m sure I’ll figure it out, I generally do.

I’d really like to replace some of the siding with a manufactured stone product but I’ve already got sooo many projects started that to begin another one would be dumb. My propensity for ADD behavior, like jumping from task to task, gets me into deep doo doo and only causes me to become more stressed and overwhelmed. I just caulk the symptoms up to being bored easily but that excuse only holds water for a short time and then both my wife and I have to acknowledge there are other, deeper, personality characteristics at play.

I’m looking forward to having this part done at least. The ultimate objective is have the house made as “updated” as can reasonably be expected, as salable as possible so that when we reach the point in our lives when we are ready to move to the next step the sale of the house won’t be a deal breaker. To that end we’ve had the roof done and are contemplating other upgrades as well. Those may or may not be discussed in future posts.

In the meantime I’ll relish the completion of this project and look forward to sitting out there again, next time surrounded by my plants. At that time the only “hauling” I plan to do will include a cold beer. I’ll have one for you too.

July 21 – On the Road Again

July 21 – On the Road Again

Our visit here is almost over. One more night, tonight, and we will be back on the road again. It reminds me of the Willie Nelson song…..”On the Road Again”…., I think it was Willie anyway. I’ve never been good at remembering songs or artists so cut me some slack, please.

20120722-200643.jpgIt’s been somewhat relaxing camping here at Bridgeport State park. The campground as a whole is quite pretty, and as I said in my last post where it’s not really my style it does have a certain charm. My wife gave it an 80% and while I wouldn’t rate it that high. I would say it’s probably in the top third. Of course that’s only measured from the places we’ve seen. As I said I’m a camping-snob too.

This location would be quite nice for groups of families camping together due to the open concept and the “circle the wagons” format of social camping. I, however, am not that social and I am a self described non-social person, not to be confused with anti-social.

The two are distinctly different in my mind. Where an “anti” social personality is against being social (hence “anti”) I am just more comfortable in situations that don’t demand or require social interaction. I am more the wall flower, or perhaps the strong silent type. In fact one of my favorite quotes is “It’s better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt”. I would search out and identify the author of the quote but unfortunately my Internet access is slow or non-existent.

So I’m non-social, have no Internet, and perhaps no personality or life. What am I to do while I’m on the road? I do like to read and if I can remain focused for long enough I can plow through a good sized book in no time. That too is relative but my reading speed and comprehension are pretty quick, faster than average I think. I was reading college level in grade 9 and although that was 100 years ago I still have the fundamentals.

Where I am challenged though, apart from my ADD and other obvious things (kidding, but only partly) is my disconnect from the ‘net. Blogging, and all it entails like photos, quotes, post formatting etc. are more challenging when you try to do it solely from your phone, utilizing only the apps you have available, and relying on your cell carriers coverage. It’s probably also obscenely expen$$$ive, as I’m sure I’ll find out, as my connection is strictly via roaming. I’m sure there are easier/better/cheaper methods and I’m equally as sure I’ll figure them out. That’s probably best dealt with under separate cover.

So anyway we’re on the road again but I’m off the information highway. You’ll have to bear with me and take my posts as they come, perhaps without some of the niceties, minus the lipstick and rouge. I’ll do my best but until we get back into Canada or I get good wifi somewhere the posts will be what they’ll be. Hoist one for Willie and the road.

July 12 Camping

July 12 Camping

Time is flying by, and I know not where it’s gone. I only wish I could recapture it, experience it again.

We have been camping or on the road now since July 6th and I haven’t journaled or blogged since then.  Actually that is not totally correct, I blogged about Madden on the 7th.  Shows what my memory is like, good but short.  Or as a friend said to me, “my memory is good, it’s my recall that’s the shits”.

My back/ lower side has been bothering me the last few nights and the first night it chose to rear its ugly pain ridden head it reached such a crescendo of discomfort I was unable to get to sleep.  I thought perhaps the cause was the bag-type chair I’ve been using so I switched to either standing up or sitting in a different lawn chair since then.  This is the first day I’ve tried sitting in my chair since then and as I sit here, on my lawn chair/throne, surveying my campsite domain, I pulled out my iPhone and will pen some thoughts.

Writing anything here is a challenge for me. I am easily distracted, I already have a short attention span, and I am also easily lead astray. A prime senior ADD candidate Not a good combo for someone endeavoring to maintain their blog. Oh I wish I were stronger of will and not so wishy washy. We are so often critical of ourselves aren’t we?

My other current excuse is the lack of cell service, read that as Internet. Since my posting is done either via phone or laptop I’m somewhat hooped on both counts. In reality that’s a bunch of bunk, and if I had the appropriate amount of willpower it wouldn’t be an issue. I can get a cell connection down at the beach, should I choose to avail myself of it. I can also journal anytime and anywhere as all I need is my journal and a pen or pencil. Hell, a piece of charcoal and a deerskin would work. They’ve been used for centuries.

Whatever the reasons for not posting there’s far too many distractions now. I’ll have to finish later.